flooding

(via Flickr/NASA Earth Observatory)

The federal Environmental Protection Association says it found no evidence of serious contamination in Mississippi River water released by the May 2 breech of the Birds Point levee in southeast Missouri.

The Army Corps of Engineers blew up the levee to relieve the flooding risk to Cairo, Ill.  In doing so, it covered 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland with several feet of water.

(via Missouri Department of Transportation)

The Missouri Department of Transportation is again urging motorists to avoid eastbound Interstate 70 just north of downtown as crews continue emergency repair work on the highway.

(Photo courtesy of MoDOT)

Updated 9:30 p.m. with additional lane closures:

The Missouri Department of Transportation now says they will have to close the two right lanes of eastbound Interstate 70 at Shreve during Monday morning rush  hour to repair a collapsed sewer line. That will leave one lane open between Shreve and West Florissant. MoDOT officials are strongly urging people to avoid the area.

Our earlier story:

(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Jay Woods)

Another Levee Breach in Northwestern Mo.

A new levee breach in northwestern Missouri threatens to close yet another section of Interstate 29.

(Screen capture via YouTube/TeamSaintLouis)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will release even more water from the Gavins Point Dam this week. But in spite of these record high flows on the Missouri River, the Corps does not expect major flooding in the St. Louis area this summer.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

As volunteers and residents in Holt and Atchison counties in northwest Missouri continue sandbagging to keep the rising Missouri River at bay, Sen. Claire McCaskill is looking for answers from the Army Corps of Engineers.

 McCaskill says she feels the frustration and anger of residents living in the small communities that have been ordered to evacuate, and wants the Army Corps of Engineers to explain the motivating factor for releasing water from reservoirs upriver when they did.

(Photo courtesy Atchison County Emergency Management)

The state of Missouri is poised to help some of the towns along the Missouri River who may be running out of sand for sandbags.

Governor Jay Nixon is ordering the State Emergency Management Agency to help those fighting flooding along the Missouri River to obtain more sand.  At Nixon's direction, SEMA has identified additional suppliers that could provide sand if local supplies are exhausted or running low.

(National Weather Service map/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Above: A National Weather Service map of projected flooding along the lower Missouri River, based on an average amount of summer rain, falling in a concentrated time period. This map assumes a river elevation of 37 feet at St. Charles, three feet below the 1993 record. Flood stage at St. Charles is 25 feet. Click here to see a larger version of the map.

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers says we can expect only minor flooding along the lower Missouri River if we get average rainfall through August - but, a stormy summer could change all that.

(Courtesy Atchison County 911/Emergency Management on Facebook)

A House panel has approved $1 billion in emergency money to repair levees and other flood control projects damaged by the devastating flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen said billions of dollars more will be needed once full Army Corps of Engineers estimates are in for repairing breached levees and other flood control projects damaged by this year's devastating storms and floods.

File photo

St. Charles County Executive Vetoes Smoking Ban Proposal

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann has blocked a countywide smoking ban proposal from going on the November 2012 ballot. Ehlmann said Tuesday that he vetoed the bill because it would have unfairly exempted casinos, cigar bars and certain hotel rooms.

The council in the St. Louis-area county voted 4-2 in favor of putting the ban on the ballot, with one opponent absent. It would take five votes to override the veto.

(Courtesy Atchison County 911/Emergency Management on Facebook)

Levee Break Sends Releases Torrents of Water

Crews are racing to build up a protective wall to keep floodwaters from reaching a small Iowa town after the swollen Missouri River punched a massive hole in the main levee that protects the community.

Two levees in northwest Missouri ruptured yesterday, sending water over rural farmland.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Updated 3:04 p.m. with changed breach size in Holt County.

Authorities in northwest Missouri say a Missouri River levee has breached in Holt County.

The Holt County breach is about 225-feet wide through a levee about five miles west of the town of Big Lake.

Holt County Clerk Kathy Kunkel said the breach is pushing water onto area agricultural land, and there are no current plans to fill the breach because it would not be safe.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs)

Updated at 2:07 p.m. with more details - new version of story from Associated Press.

Updated at 12:09 p.m. - see photos of the levee breach on the Atchison County 911/Emergency Management Facebook page.

The rising Missouri River has ruptured two levees in northwest Missouri, sending torrents of flood waters over
rural farmland toward the Iowa town of Hamburg and the Missouri state park and resort of Big Lake.

Flickr/USACEpublicaffairs

Minor Flooding Expected this Week in Mo.

Minor flooding is expected along the Mississippi River in Missouri this week. In St. Louis, the river is slightly above flood stage at 30.5- feet, and expected to stay that way for the next four days.

There is a flood warning in effect towns from Quincy, Mo., down to Chester, Ill. until Sunday. National Weather Service meteorologist Butch Dye says the flooding is expected to remain minor, barring significant rainfall.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/By Carlos J. Lazo)

Updated at 2:41 p.m. with state of Missouri's preparedness.

The fast-moving Missouri River is making for spectacular displays at the dams that control its flow (see video below).

Hundreds of sightseers are turning out at Oahe Dam near Pierre, Garrison Dam near Bismarck, N.D., and other locations to see the thundering torrents as the Army Corps of Engineers releases water downstream. All the water must be moved along to make room for heavy rains in western states and snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains.

(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers video screen grab)

For the first time in more than five weeks, the Mississippi River has dropped low enough to stop flowing through a gap in a blown-up levee in southeast Missouri.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tells The Associated Press that the river stopped flooding through the Birds Point levee Thursday.

It had been flowing through the gap since the corps blew a hole in the levee on May 2 to relieve flooding pressure on nearby Cairo, Ill.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is reporting a third partial breach in a Missouri River levee in Atchison County, Mo.

The corps says in a news release that the partial breach caused minimal damage because material from adjacent slopes filled in most of the opening. Workers were able to direct the flow away from the repaired areas of the levee.

Thursday's partial breach occurred about 80 feet north of two previous breaches near Hamburg, Iowa.

Rising water levels on the Missouri River are expected to swamp hundreds of thousands of acres of crops and halt barge traffic. 

The threat of decreased crop acreage in the Dakotas, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri is driving prices for corn and soybeans on Wednesday.

Ron Plain is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri.  He says flooding along the Missouri River could be devastating for bottomland farmers. 

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill says she and her colleagues will take a close look at the way the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is managing the Missouri River at the end of the flooding season.

Rising waters have already forced evacuations in the Dakotas and Iowa. The floods are due partly to the release of water from huge reservoirs located near the headwaters of the river.

McCaskill says every year, there are questions about the Corps' decision. But overall, she says the agency has done the right things this year.

The Missouri National Guard has been called up by Gov. Jay Nixon to assist local police with security after a grand jury decision is announced in the Michael Brown case. Typically, Guard troopers are called in to respond to emergencies, like natural disas
(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs/By Carlos J. Lazo)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has directed the National Guard to coordinate efforts against flooding along the Missouri River and its tributaries.

Nixon issued an executive order Wednesday allowing the Missouri National Guard to work with local police and emergency management agencies to ensure that people's homes and property are protected.

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